Friday, December 09, 2005

Sensory Overload

Today was a day of excessive stimuli. Too much of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Too much joy, too little, too brief, too much beauty, too much ugliness, all separated by too little time. I am far too tired to describe it all. So I'll just single out a random moment.

As I was going home, on the subway, I looked around. Now, lately, I've been finding that people vary, physically, mostly in rather discrete ways. Sometimes I despair of being able to get, not a likeness really, but a difference. Not today. As I looked around I was surrounded by so much beauty, so much ugliness, so much difference...

A man with such a strange cartoonish nose...so wide and flat on the top, so thin and round on the bottom; a woman, her face so long I couldn't believe it; an old man with a huge jaw; a fantastic bulging vein on the back of another man's hand; a girl with protruding jaw and pouting lips... It was all so much, all of a sudden, that I could not take a pick. I was too tired. Like a boy in a toy shop that is just too huge, I jusr gave up, relaxed, and took no notes at all. My brain was buzzing with a far too stratospheric high...

2 comments:

Stejahen said...

Awesome, I love it when that happens. It's like there's this incredible world all around us and we are blinded by the familiarity of it all. But, then you can't live like that all the time, you can't really work like that, unless of course you are an Artist by profession.

OMWO said...

Hi :)

unlike what most people think, our brain doesn't really work by trying to hoarde a lot of information. A big part of its function it actually supressive work. It selects and abstracts a few things from an ocean of input, since a few things at a time is all our conscious mind can handle.

But sometimes it's like all that inhibitive work somehow failed, and you get thrown right smack into the middle of the input stream. You get crushed by it, and unable to react - but what a rush it is :)

The absence of the normal inhibitive functions of the brain is central to a few very strange mental conditions that can actually be very productive, in particular ways...I remember reading about that in a book called "The man who mistook his wife for a hat" and wondering what would happen if somehow we could jump from one such condition to another, willingly, say, by the use of adequate drugs or hypnosis...

If only we could get "root privileges" over our own brain :)